Monday, December 15, 2008

A Common Bidah in Islamic greeting during Hajj By Asma bint Shameen

AsSalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

by Asma bint Shameem

I remember, last year during Hajj, I met an Arab sister. She happened to be in the same camp as I was, during our stay in Mina, and as Hajj was ending, we were sad to see each other go. Going through the Hajj rituals had brought us close together. Just as we were about to part and go our ways, she said to me "La ilaaha illAllaah", and waited expectantly for me to reply.
I looked at her..... and I was quiet.
Although, I loved her for the sake of Allaah, I could not reply back.
How could I? I loved her for the sake of Allaah and so I had to tell her.
I told her as gently as I could.....
"Dear sister, what you said and what I am supposed to say back to you is not from the Sunnah of Rasullaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)."
She was aghast. "What! How could you not reply to me!" she said. She was very upset and informed me that we will not be able to meet each other again, here in the dunya or in Jannah if I dont respond by saying, "Muhammad ur Rasullah", back to her.
When I remained quiet, she left.....without even saying "As Salaamu Alaikum" to me.......the REAL greeting of the people of Jannah!
We live in difficult times. Times when a lot of bidah (innovation) has crept into the pure, perfect Shareeah that Muhammad (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) came with. And one such bidah that has spread like wild fire, especially among my Arab brothers and sisters, is saying "La ilaaha illAllaah" when parting with each other.
When two people are parting from one another, the last thing they say before parting is "La ilaaha illAllaah" and the other says "Muhammad ur Rasullah", to complete the sentence. And, their saying this, they believe, will ensure that they will meet each other again, in this world and in Jannah...... ..something that will bring them goodness and 'Khair'.....kind of like a 'good luck charm'. Some of them even think it is part of the deen of Islaam.

And, it is of UTMOST importance, they believe, that you have to reply back. If someone says  "La ilaaha illAllaah" at the time of parting and if you don't reply Muhammadur Rasullah", it is as if you are bringing on the wrath of Allaah! Or some great evil is about to befall you, or that you will never meet again. Like I said......kind of like a 'good luck charm'.

This bidah has become SO rampant that yesterday, I even noticed a Spanish REVERT sister, who has just recently accepted Islaam, talking to someone on the phone and just as she was hanging up, the last thing she said was, "La ilaaha illAllaah" and, back came the reply, "Muhammadur Rasullah".
In fact, it was this incidence yesterday that prompted me to write about this topic today.

Where did she learn that? Who taught her this bidah?

Which Ayah of the Qu'aan or books of Hadeeth did she learn this from?
Obviously, it was from people..... Muslims, who dont know any better, who think this is part of our deen or a matter of earning rewards, or even something that decides your Qadar' that decides whom you will meet and not meet, to say this 'Kalimah' at the time of parting.

Why is it wrong?

Obviously the statement "La ilaaha illAllaah Muhammadur Rasullah", is the BEST statement a person can make.......EVER.
In fact, this statement marks the difference between Imaan and Kufr, between Jannah and Jahannum.

Then why is it so wrong to say it when parting from one another??
When someone asked the knowledgeable Shaykh Saleh al-Munajjid about this matter, here is what he said:
"Firstly, there is no hadeeth which speaks of this dhikr when parting or concluding a gathering. Hence persisting in it or believing it to be a dhikr that is prescribed on such occasions is a bidah that is to be rejected, because the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with our affair will have it rejected. (Muslim).

The scholars have stated that singling out a particular time or place for an act of worship, or a particular manner in which it is to be done, with no proof from the texts, makes it a kind of bidah and innovation, in which case it is called bidah idaafiyyah. It is prescribed in principle, but is REJECTED because of the manner in which it is done. Acts of worship must be prescribed in and of themselves, the manner in which they are done, the time at which they are done and the number of times they are done, because Allaah can only be worshipped in the ways that He has prescribed in His Book or on the lips of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)."

 So what is from the Sunnah?

1) The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to say, when he wanted to leave a gathering:

Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bi hamdika, ashhadu an laa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk

(Glory and praise be to You, O Allaah, I bear witness that there is no god but You, I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You).
And he said: It is expiation for whatever happened in that gathering. (Abu Dawood--Saheeh) . 

2) Recite Soorat al-Asr, because the Sahaabi Abu Madeenah al-Daarimi said: "When two men of the companions of the Prophet
(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) met, they would not part until one of them recited By Al-Asr (the time), Verily, man is in loss [al-Asr] over the other, then one would say salaam to the other." (al-Tabaraani- - saheeh)

 3) Saying Assalaamu Alaikum to each other is the best greeting to meet as well as to part. It is a dua to your loved one , the greeting of the people of Jannah and the greeting that Allaah Himself chose for the believers. What else can be better than that??

So next time when parting from your friends, hanging up your phone calls, dropping the kids off to school or getting up from a gathering, instead of saying something that is not prescribed in Islaam, say the above duas that are proven from the Sunnah and earn rewards from Allaah, al-Kareem.

And besides, if you think about it, can a 'Dhikr' or a 'statement' be the cause of you meeting again and reuniting with your loved ones or is it Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta'ala that causes that??

This bring to mind Issues we all Face with sisters and brothers who go out side the sunnah. in Just about everything or even 1%, SubhanaAllaah. The things we say in Islam might be good but they also have there place in saying them and most importantly Did the Prophet Sallallah alayhi wala salam said them. The best greeting among the Muslims is "As salaamou Alikum" Either that or better than that Which is "As salaamou alikum waRahmatuallah waBaraktu".. Not Salamz or Ma salaama or Allah Hafiz First. or even as a return. Salaamz Irruates the Heck out of me and I have right not to reply because they didn't even give the Proscribed Greeting According to the Qur'an and Sunnah


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